The full VIP experience at Silvercity Coquitlam
My partner and I don’t often go to the theatre to watch movies. We much rather the comfort of our own home, to be able to discuss the movie as it plays and to pause it when we need to use the washroom. Not to mention the price when comparing the cost of tickets to a download or subscription to Netflix. Then you layer on the cost of food, should you get peckish mid way through. All of which comes at a greater deal when in the comfort of your own home.
None-the-less we do make the journey when it’s a big blockbuster movie with an large budget, think any Marvel movie or a Tarantino pic. It just seems a shame to watch it any less than the screen it was created for. Plus its good to invest in a date night here and there when in a committed relationship.
So seeing as it is far and few in between that we visit a theatre, whenever we do we treat ourselves to the VIP experience. So far never for the food or the ability to drink in the theatre. But for the convenience of reserved seats and the ability to stroll in last minute without the need to search for your optimal perch. That and the seats are larger and designed for two. With a thicker arm rest on either sides, it creates the illusion of space between couples, allowing them the ability to push up the arm rest that once separates them, to come to together and watch together. Side by side, like you would on your couch at home.
We came 15 minutes to the start of “Blade Runner 2049”, a cult classic, that has been given new life in our modern times, with an increased movie production. And after printing our tickets at the kiosk by the entrance, we proceeded to the VIP lounge. It had a separate entrance, with its own attendant behind a podium. Here they check your ID, as they serve alcohol in this sectioned off area.
Past the doors is a lounge area with bar, high top tables, and couches for those watching a VIP movie, to be able to sit and enjoy the space before or after it. We have yet to do so, as we often opt for the late showing which is coming just in time to catch the trailers and leaving as soon as it is done. Although I have and do like their adjacent washrooms. Here they have a hall of single stalls for VIP ticket holders to use. They were only slightly cleaner, but a lot more private and spacious.
Through the perk you get for paying for a more expensive seat, you can enjoy in-seat service. You can hunker down and servers will take your order and bring you your desired meal, right to your assigned seat. We came early to enjoy it, but failed to factor in cook time, or the fact that others may be utilizing this service as well, causing the kitchen to be backed up. We didn’t get our food until 5 minutes into the movie, when the theatre was darkened and you held your breath as your server traversed stairs in the dark, holding a full tray of food and heavy drinks.
Each seat comes with an arm rest that swings out to be used as a stomach height dining platform. The menus are stored behind your chair, slotted into holders. It is page turner with “shareable” tacos and boards, handhelds like burgers and sandwiches, and entrees with a deal to enjoy 2 for $16. It looked promising enough. Most of which is available in some variation on many bar menus. So already we lowered our expectations, but little did we know there was a level under “below expectations”. It was worse than we thought and my partner even had stomach pains because of the food. But more on that later.
To begin, you have at wave at any one of the servers standing to either sides of the screen. They stand at attention at the very bottom of the staircase, looking up. Keep in mind their ability to take your order ends as soon as the show starts, for safety and possible disruptive reasons. Any one of them come to you, to answer any questions you may have, followed by taking your actual order. Once again our lowered expectations, had us believing that asking for recommendations would be pointless. So we kept our ordering safe.
My partner was expecting an indigestion, hoping he would be disappointed. But that is exactly what he got: an immediate and lingering stomach ache. It didn’t help that when he specified no onions in his “Hickory smoked pulled pork sandwich”, he got plenty of them fried crispy. We ended up sending it back for them to remake. Our food was already one of the last to arrive, after the movie started; and now we had to send it back? All this work, only for him to take a bite and pass on the rest due to disinterested its bland taste.
As a side, he upgraded his fries into a poutine with cheese and gravy, thinking that it would be fairly hard to mess up. We were wrong in this too. This wasn’t the safe bet he had hoped, you could tell this was made without care. Just a lumping of ingredients, one over another. The fries were from frozen, easily identified with each straw’s ashy finish. The gravy was quick to congeal, it thickened and globbed up, leaving the remainder of the fries at the very bottom without any sauce; even if this was just a packet roast beef gravy, it was at least flavourful. The cheese was all melted in a lumpy ball, but at least there was enough of it in proportion to the overall serving.
I on the other hand, wanted to see how they faired with more of their restaurant-ish options. So dared to try their “Popcorn cauliflower”, which they interpreted literally; with actual popcorn kernels, giving things a different texture. The menu listing both being seasoned with real movie theatre butter, but I didn’t get any of that. It was decent as a whole, but after a few bites, it got boring with one flat taste. Crispy bread hiding fully cooked, and still firm cauliflower florets.
With a bar and the need to check ID, I figured they would at least employ a trained bartender, however I was disappointed by my Caesar cocktail as well. This was the saltiest Caesar I have ever had, it made my lips pucker and had my eyes squinting. It was like they knew it would be poorly done so tried over compensating with extra seasonings and spices. It was an assault and one that even the melted ice couldn’t help.
And the worse part of it, the food cost just as much as our tickets did. And we knew that even if we brought up to any of the staff or the manager, nothing would come of it. It is just one of those things you accept, as you should have known better than to order a meal that came to almost $50 with tip, at a theatre and expect it to be good.
If you are hungry I would just stick to the large popcorn and soda combo. The VIP drinks and popcorn cones in their own branded black containers, with discrete detailing. With it, they were clearly trying to dress the experience and live up to the VIP prestige.
As for the movie, let’s just say it is a good thing that I don’t review films.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I would still go to the theatre as a “VIP”, however will never again order anything from their regular hot food menu. Expectations were lowered and it still left me dissatisfied. They are better left as an after dinner activity. Don’t deny your cravings.
170 Schoolhouse Street, Coquitlam BC, V3K 4X9